Do you suffer from a painful knee condition? If you are, then undergoing knee pain diagnosis can help in determining what treatment is right for you. Knee pain is due to several conditions and may cause severe pain in the knee if left untreated. Experiencing this pain may even cause you to stop working and it might eventually disrupt your simplest daily activities.
So let’s start at the beginning.
What Causes Knee Pain?
Unfortunately, this question is sometimes difficult to answer. Severe knee pain can be due to many factors, which include aging, injuries from trauma or accident, and extreme athletic activities. In case of trauma injuries, pain in the knee may be caused by torn ligaments, torn meniscus, or tendinitis. Bone fractures can cause extreme pain in the knee, as well, and the most common causes of this are impact traumas and vehicular accidents.
Knee pain diagnosis can be determined simply by doing proper tests, and cooperating with your doctor will make things easier for both of you.
Keep in mind that you have to answer questions about the severity and duration of pain. Your physician may also want to know if you were doing a specific activity prior to your knee pain.
If your knee pain is caused by a fracture, it can be easily seen. This usually means that treatment is easier and faster.
The Anatomy of the Knee
It is important to understand the anatomy of the knee before going to the various knee pain diagnosis methods. Getting familiar with the human knee structure and its vital components can help you understand the probable cause of injuries that you may experience. When diagnosing knee pain, you should know the basic structure of the knee and how each part works and affects the others.
Major Parts of the Knee
The knee consists of three major bones called the femur, the patella, and the tibia. It has four major ligaments, as well, which are very susceptible to injury or damage. The two tendons, the Quadriceps and Patellar, connect the bones of the knee to the muscles. The cartilages, on the other hand, serve as a cushion that minimizes the damage that may be caused by sudden impacts. And finally, there are the Bursa sacs, which are three different fluid-filled sacs that further protect the knee from outer impacts.
Knee Pain Diagnosis: How Is It Done?
There are several factors to be considered in order to properly diagnose knee pain, which is the key in determining the proper knee pain remedies and solutions based on your case. During your consultation, your doctor may ask questions that are crucial to properly diagnose knee pain. You will have to make sure that the questions are answered with all accuracy and honesty.
Right after your talk with your physician, you will be required to undergo imaging tests in order to see the exact condition of your knee. There are various methods of doing imaging test, and these include the following:
Initially, your doctor may recommend an X-ray. This method can help reveal fractures of the bone and detect any degenerative disease of the bone.
- CT Scan.
The Computerized Tomography Scan utilizes X-rays from different angles, which create cross section images of the internal parts of the body. This method helps detect bone problems, as well as loose bodies (tiny fragments of cartilage and/or bone).
This method utilizes sound waves in order to create real-time structure images of the knee and the area surrounding it. Ultrasound can also help determine how your knee works. Your physician may move your knee and prompt you into doing different positions all through the test.
MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging uses radio waves and magnets to generate 3-D images of any part of the body. In case of knee pain diagnosis, 3-D images of the inside of your knee will be generated. MRI is very useful in detecting soft tissue injuries.
Apart from the possible imaging tests, your doctor might also request you to undergo a number of laboratory tests, which can help in diagnosing knee pain. Lab tests are very important, especially if your physician suspects gout, pseudogout, or an infection, which may be the cause of your knee pain. Blood tests may be done to rule these out, but in some cases, your doctor may also request for arthrocentesis, a lab procedure that involves drawing out of fluid from your knee joint using a needle and sending the specimen to the laboratory for a more complex analysis.
Using the right diagnosing methods can greatly help your doctor know the cause of your knee pain. Once your doctor has the proper diagnosis, he or she will determine the surest way on how to treat knee pain according to your case.
Keep in mind that cooperation is crucial to finding the real cause of your knee pain. Answering your doctor’s queries and obliging to his or her requests for imaging and laboratory tests are the keys to your successful knee pain diagnosis, hence the proper treatment.